Thought

Don’t Look At Nude Pictures That Aren’t Meant For You, And Don’t Click On Articles That Promise Them

Damn it, people, you are better than this.

As every man and his dog is aware by now, nude photos of a number of female celebrities have leaked online. Either you’ve seen them being shared on social media, or you’ve been helpfully alerted to the fact that they exist by some “respectable” news websites who are sticking the news, along with suitably salacious (though clothed) photos of the celebrities in question, front-and-centre on their homepages.

Maybe you find these celebrities attractive. Maybe you would very much like to see them naked. That is an understandable impulse; everyone likes to see attractive people naked. But here’s the thing: those photos were (allegedly) obtained by a hacker who gained access to these celebrities’ personal iCloud accounts. They were not meant for public consumption, or to be seen by anyone other than the people they were originally taken for.

Considering how many people are now either actively seeking out these photos or profiting by their leaking, it seems people need reminding of a blatantly obvious point about all this: looking at someone naked for your own pleasure, when they don’t want you to, is a creepy and gross thing to do. The medium you view them in, their celebrity status, or the fact that lots of other people are doing it are not valid reasons or excuses for violating this basic principle. By doing it anyway, you are telling that person — and other people — that their right to bodily privacy is worth less than your desire to get a cheap thrill out of seeing their naked body. Do not do it.

“But she’s a celebrity! This is part of being in the public eye!”

Incorrect, bucko; this is a bad rationalisation, and people who use it should feel bad. Someone who earns lots of money by acting in movies or TV shows does not magically become an all-purpose piece of public property. Regardless of whether someone is famous or not, they’re allowed to do all the things regular people enjoy, like go to the beach, wear not-much clothing when it’s hot and make out with babes, on the reasonable assumption that someone isn’t going to get up in their fucking grill about it. 

The fact that celebrities are routinely targeted by paparazzi and often have their privacy violated is not an excuse; if a group of nutcases out there periodically made a habit of throwing acid in famous people’s faces, that would rightly be regarded as a crime and a violation of the basic principles by which civilised human beings live. It would not be excused with a shrug and the justification “that’s the price of being famous”. No one “signs up” to have their emails hacked, their phones tapped, or their private conversations secretly recorded and broadcast.

“What did she expect? She took nude photos ON HER PHONE.”

Well done, you! As you have so cleverly spotted, people are using their phones and the Internet to send pictures of their junk to each other. They are doing this for two reasons. One, two (or more) people who find each other attractive and trust each other will often be naked together, a phenomenon scientists have tentatively termed “doing the sex”. Two, now that we carry phones around all the time and the Internet is a thing that exists, those people now have a way to enjoy their trusted other’s nakedness while they are not physically present. As you are also no doubt aware, phones can be hacked, nothing on the Internet is truly private, and you leave a digital trail of virtually everything you do online that is very difficult, if not impossible, to erase.

These are all true things. These are also irrelevant things. How someone chooses to act in a private or intimate moment with a partner — in real life, online or in any other medium — does not change the fundamental privacy of the act itself. We act very differently around people we know and trust than we do when we feel we are being watched, or when we are in public, and we trust that people will be good enough to make the distinction. We would expect a potential employer to judge us on our resume and how we present in a job interview, not on the dumb photos we send to our friends on Snapchat.

Similarly, intruding on someone’s private moments is a reprehensible thing to do, no matter the medium; perving on nude photos meant for someone else that leaked online is no different to peering through someone’s window while they’re having sex with their partner. You wouldn’t do, or accept, the latter behaviour; apply the same standards to the former.

“But these things are EVERYWHERE. The damage is done, what harm can me looking do?”

You’re right, these photos are everywhere by now. Major news outlets have picked up on them, and social media has done what social media does. You can very easily go and look at them; they’re only a Google search away. I can’t stop you; no one can, except yourself.

So here’s really why you shouldn’t: doing it would make you a dick. That’s it.

This is basic, primary school-level stuff; you expect to be treated with base-level respect and decency by everyone around you, and when someone doesn’t you justifiably get upset, and call them a dick. Because that’s what they’re being.

If someone leaked nude photos of you online, most likely you would be appalled and horrified, and you wouldn’t want people looking at them, sharing them, or drawing attention to them. You would call someone who did that to you a dick, and they would be. If people went looking for them despite clearly knowing how you felt, they would be dicks too.

This situation clearly falls into that category, except it’s not happening to you; it’s happening to someone else. But part of not being a dick is imagining how your actions and words affect other people; putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and extending to them the same respect you extend to yourself. Failing to do that, especially in a situation where someone is upset and embarrassed, makes you a dick.

Observe Wheaton’s Law. Don’t look at nude photos that aren’t meant for you. Don’t reward people who do dickish things, and most of all, don’t — fucking don’t — be a dick.

Feature image via KnowYourMeme.com.

Comments

Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Fuck you I look at what I want. All you’ve done here is let more people know the nudes exist

  2. quagmire says:

    Giggidy

  3. boots88 says:

    If you don’t want somebody to know or see something then don’t send it electronically. Regardless of ethics or laying blame if you could have prevented and you didn’t then it’s your own fault.

  4. KPax says:

    Well, I hope you’ve never looked at porn online or if you have, that you’re OK with everyone (such as your mother, employer, etc) knowing about it. Same goes for buying stuff online. Are you comfortable with the whole world having access to your credit card details?

    Private stuff happens online. Don’t be a dick about it.

  5. stella says:

    The only reason why I would not agree with this request is that many of these celebrities often agree to have photos of themselves straddling something, near naked etc etc… all in order to sell their brand or movie or perfume. It’s disingenuous rage for those celebrities who ordinarily consent to other sexualised images of themselves being sold to the everyday. It’s disingenuous of them to say they control the gaze in the former. They don’t in either case. They are market, they are product. Anyone with an ounce of fame buys into this. I won’t look at these images, the same as I wouldn’t look at the crap they try to sell me.

  6. Matt says:

    Celebrities make a lot of money when nude photos of them are leaked. Who knows whether they’re leaked or just ‘leaked’ half the time. I’m not too fussed.

  7. Coagmano says:

    Thank you for proving yourself to be a grade A dick-face

  8. Leah says:

    “What did she expect? She took nude photos ON HER PHONE.” While not a legitimate reason to look at the photos, it is still a legitimate point. Anybody – ANYBODY, regardless of public status – is treading a very precarious line (and that’s putting it politely) if they put photos of themselves, naked, on the internet, in any capacity – even private emails, iCloud, dropbox, etc. accounts. If I, for some unbeknownst reason, ever took naked photos of myself, it would NOT be on my phone which automatically backs up on the internet, it would be on a regular camera where the photos can stay safely hidden on a non-internet-connected SD card, USB drive or similar. I know those can be stolen too but it’s a lot harder and not subject to a third party’s security flaws. HOWEVER, that does not make it ok to steal, disseminate, or look at those photos. That would be the equivalent of saying it’s ok to steal someone’s car because they left it parked in the street. It’s not.

  9. Leah says:

    assuming for a moment that your original assertion was correct (which it isn’t, for a lot of these celebrities), your claim that it’s ok to hack their private accounts and disseminate private naked photos of them, because they pose semi-naked for advertising images, is basically the equivalent of saying it’s ok to steal someone’s TV from inside their house because they sell TVs so obviously they’re ok with people having their TVs. No, no it’s not.

  10. Jaeger says:

    I just found out about this from you. Thanks, the pics are AWESOME!

  11. stella says:

    Except my comment wasn’t about the the values in hacking someone’s computer (the illegality of it is enough to indicate what we think as a society). My comment, please read, is about the values inherent in the reaction of some of those whose images were taken.

  12. Jason Alexander says:

    I like how female celebrities have a “right to privacy”, but Donald Sterling doesn’t. Apparently, saying things in the privacy of your own home that are…gasp…RACIST (!!!! omfg) means you lose your right to privacy, even though that the loss actually did significant harm to his life, unlike these celebrities who, even if we agree deserve to not have their photos stolen, will financially benefit from this ordeal.

  13. boots88 says:

    Seriously though, you’re constantly in the public eye, why not try and minimize any negative impact of your actions? Something like credit card details is a fact of life, we live in the 21st century where we need those to live but people don’t need to send naked photos to each other.

  14. Jason Alexander says:

    “So here’s really why you shouldn’t: doing it would make you a dick. That’s it.
    This is basic, primary school-level stuff; you expect to be treated
    with base-level respect and decency by everyone around you, and when
    someone doesn’t you justifiably get upset, and call them a dick. Because
    that’s what they’re being.”

    This is yet another example of the entirely weird moral values of progressives which are divorced from harm.

    If what you’re doing doesn’t hurt anyone, WHO GIVES A FUCK. If you’re getting upset over people looking at (not spreading) these photos then you’ve got entirely too much time on your hands.

    Liberals are more upset over some privileged millionaire celebrity bimbos having their teats seen by the internet than they over stuff that actually matters. Still waiting for the junkee article on how over 1400 UK girls and teenagers were gang-raged and molested by pakistani gangs and how it wasn’t stopped due to fears about being politically correct. Oh, and then those reporters who did end up exposing this absolute monstrosity were sent to ‘sensitivity training’ for mentioning the race of the gang-raping pedophile monsters, which is the kind of thinking which prevented it from being stopped in the first place. You know, stuff that REALLY FUCKING MATTERS. But of course, that doesn’t fit in with the progressive narrative here at Junkee, so theres no way a story like that would ever be touched.